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Sri Lanka’s youth stage anti-government protests in Colombo’s Independence Square

Young protesters gathered in Sri Lanka’s capital Wednesday (April 6) to demonstrate against the government as the country suffered its worst economic crisis in decades.

Standing in Independence Square in Colombo 26-year-old Kasumi Ranasinghearachchi said the protest was due to “the constant oppression by the state of trying to silence us, trying to ignore other voices.”

Protests led by young people have continued daily since Sunday (April 3) and they have said they will not stop until the president meets their demands or resigns.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa revoked a state of emergency late on Tuesday (April 5) after dozens of lawmakers walked out of the ruling coalition, leaving his government in a minority in parliament as it struggles to quell protests against the crisis. The emergency was imposed on Friday.

People have been suffering from shortages of fuel, power, food and other items for weeks, and doctors say the entire health system could now collapse.

(Production: Channa Kumura, Waruna Karunatilake)

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